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Ferret owners need to be very attentive to the state of their animals. If you suddenly notice that your ferret has started vomiting, it has become lethargic, the stool is not of normal shape (contains mucus), your body temperature has decreased and your appetite has disappeared, you must be especially careful - it is possible that the ferret has a blockage of the digestive tract by a foreign body.
Many ferrets are not indifferent to materials such as rubber, rubber, latex, often nibble them and swallow pieces that can clog the lumen of the esophagus and pose a serious danger to life. Unsafe pieces of fruit, especially dry. Bones of fruits and berries, nuts and seeds. There have been cases of clogging with raw potatoes, carrots, and even persimmons. Therefore, one must be especially careful when giving your pet such a treat. This applies to any hard fruits and vegetables. Some ferrets like to eat ropes and rags, cardboard, objects made of cork.
It happens that a foreign body comes out with feces, but in some cases, stuck in the small intestine, causes severe pain and in the absence of surgical intervention can lead to death within 1-2 days. Therefore, in case of suspicion of blockage, do not waste time! It in this case plays against you and the animal "fades away" in a matter of hours. It is recommended to immediately take the animal to a veterinary clinic. Or call a doctor to advise you on an action plan.
Most often, foreign bodies are found in the stomach or small intestine. To diagnose a foreign body, you need to do an x-ray in the clinic. On x-rays you can see gas in the stomach, as well as some types of foreign bodies. Foreign bodies of natural origin very often do not produce gas. Also, sometimes foreign bodies can be palpated by hands. In any case, this can only be determined in the clinic.
The ingestion of inedible objects is mainly characteristic of young ferrets (up to two years old), in adult ferrets, bezoars are more often diagnosed.
Bezoar is a “food stone” containing food debris, mucus, plant fibers, hair or other components that cannot be digested in the stomach; the presence of bezoar can cause obstruction, ulcer or bleeding.
Clogging is also common when eating fabrics, ropes, seeds from fruits, nuts, seeds, and polystyrene.
When a ferret has a bowel obstruction, a decrease in rectal body temperature is below normal (normal ferret temperature is about 38.4 degrees Celsius), a decrease in appetite, up to its complete disappearance, drowsiness, weakness, diarrhea, a sharp increase in abdominal volume. Less commonly observed is vomiting, gnashing of teeth, and salivation. The ferret lies or moves reluctantly. The amount of feces is reduced. In the feces, more mucus appears. Desires for bowel movements are becoming more frequent.
If the foreign body is in the rectum, then blockage of the intestine can sometimes be diagnosed with the help of pin palpation. But more often, an X-ray with contrast is used to confirm the diagnosis. On x-rays you can see gas in the stomach, as well as some types of foreign bodies. Most often, foreign bodies are found in the stomach or in the small intestine. A foreign body in the stomach should be distinguished from the initial stage of adenocorcinoma or lymphoma of the stomach.
In most cases, ferrets need surgery to block the intestines. But if the swallowed object is small or the owner saw that the ferret swallowed a foreign object, then you can try to help the object out of the body on its own.
Attention! If a hard object with uneven edges caused blockage of the intestine, the ferret should be immediately shown to the veterinarian to avoid damage to the intestinal wall.
1. Let's ferret Vaseline oil (in no case vegetable, only mineral oil) - 3 ml per 1 kg of body weight every 2-3 hours. Vomiting when giving petroleum jelly oil indicates a foreign body in the stomach. In this case, the dose of oil should be halved, and the period of giving up to 30 minutes.
2. To avoid dehydration, the ferret must be pricked saline solution subcutaneously (Acesol, Trisol, etc. ..), 5 ml every 10-15 minutes. The total volume of saline per day is 100-150 ml. Recommended injection No-shpa 0.2 ml
3. Watch the oil out of the ferret. Oil goes out on an empty stomach in 40-60 minutes. If the stomach is full, then the oil output is observed after 1.5 -2 hours. If the ferret swallows a liquid-absorbing object, then oil may not be released. If the oil does not come out URGENTLY We bring the ferret to the doctor.
4. Follow the composition of the feces (the output of a swallowed foreign object). If the item does not come out within 24 hours or the ferret’s condition worsens, then the ferret urgently needs to be shown to the veterinarian.
It is necessary to measure the temperature periodically, if the temperature drops from measurement to measurement and falls below 36 degrees - urgently to a doctor!
Attention! When blocking the intestine with a foreign body, it is strictly forbidden:
1. Do not respond to the deterioration of the ferret. If the state of the ferret worsened, then, in spite of the measures taken, the animal must be urgently shown to the veterinarian.
2. Do not respond to bloating. The increase in the volume of the abdomen in the ferret after taking vaseline oil indicates complete blockage. In this case, the oil intake must be stopped and the ferret urgently taken to the veterinarian.
3. To give sorbents (smecta, activated carbon, enterodesis, etc.). Sorbents also contribute to the removal of fluid from the digestive tract, which significantly reduces intestinal motility and prevents the foreign body from moving to the anus. This will immediately cause the ferret to worsen.
4. Give a laxative or antiemetic (cerucal). Drugs cause an increase in intestinal motility, which can lead to rupture of the walls of the stomach or intestines.
5. Give probiotics. They can cause additional bloating or soreness.
6. Feed plentifully. Excessive feeding of a ferret during an obstruction of the intestine can cause rupture of the walls of the intestine or stomach. Ferrets are allowed to give small amounts of vitamin paste or warm baby food.
7. Forcefully feed the animal or feed the animal if vomiting occurs. The presence of vomiting when taken orally indicates a foreign body in the stomach. In this case, oral administration must be stopped, and the ferret urgently taken to the veterinarian.
If wool became the cause of bowel blockage, then the ferret can be given paste for cats to remove wool from the body.
When the intestines are blocked in ferrets, if the measures taken do not lead to the desired result, in most cases surgical intervention is required. If the ferret is too weak, then before the operation he needs to put a dropper with supporting solutions. To make sure the condition of the animal, it is good to do a general blood test before surgery. Gastrointestinal tissue necrosis is less common in ferrets than in cat or dog bowel obstruction. Usually, the prognosis of an operation to remove a foreign body from the intestine of a ferret is positive, provided there is no intestinal perforation and peritonitis.
So, always remember that the best treatment is prevention! Try to predict what might be of interest to the ferret and put such items out of the reach of the ferret.
And if the trouble still happened, do not waste time and urgently contact a veterinary clinic. Timely treatment largely determines the successful outcome of the operation.
Gastrointestinal obstruction in ferrets
Obstruction - violation of the patency of food masses (lump) through the gastrointestinal tract. The main causes of obstruction in ferrets are swallowed foreign bodies.
Ferrets eat various objects, the main thing is:
- Rags are often underwear, tights, socks, bedding. Or indiscriminately
- Rubber / latex / silicone are toys, rubber gloves, condoms, earplugs, shoe soles, erasers, baby soothers, various overlays that are used to protect parquet or furniture from scratches, decorative patches / tags on clothes, shoes, often sportswear / shoes, window and door gaskets, buttons on remotes and telephones, television and radio equipment, computers ... straps on a bra, elastic bands on clothes, plasticine, weight for modeling and much more ...
- May be swallowed: seeds from fruits, seeds, nuts, beads, small balls.
- Foam rubber / synthetic winterizer - sponges / washcloths, furniture, bedding / lodges, sunbeds, clothes.
- Polyfoam - the back panel of the refrigerator, cooler, boxes from under household appliances (foam inserts to prevent equipment from breaking), many insulate balconies, inserts into shoes so that they do not crumple (some companies put foam inserts).
- Partial obstruction is a foreign object of small size (less than the diameter of the intestine), and it freely moves through the digestive tract. It can be small pieces of foam rubber, rubber, small wool bezoars.
- Complete obstruction - a foreign body is voluminous / solid / (usually larger than the diameter of the intestine) occupies the entire lumen of the intestine and does not move through the intestine. It can be seeds, nuts, large pieces of rubber, ear plugs, large beads, rhinestones, large pieces of fabric, large pieces of cellophane.
- Against the background of a general good condition - vomiting, after vomiting the animal, as a rule, continues to be active and asks for food, if vomiting is repeated, then the animal becomes lethargic.
- Forced posture (stretched in length, but not curled up in a ring).
- Soreness of the abdomen (abdominal wall) with light pressure on it.
- Sometimes uncharacteristic moans.
- Reducing the amount of feces.
- The appearance of a large amount of mucus instead of feces (usually tight, dark green or beige). THIS IS NOT CAL!
- Frequent urge to defecate (defecate), with the absence of feces or its reduced amount.
- Lethargy, lack of interest in conventional stimuli (toys, walks, food.
- Decreased appetite and water intake.
- Temperature drop below 38 degrees (measured rectally, preferably with an electronic thermometer).
- A sharp increase in the volume of the abdomen and at the same time there is difficulty breathing (overstretching of the stomach with gases or contents).
If you saw how the ferret ate something inedible with you or you suspect it, then:
What you DO NOT DO if you suspect a foreign body:
- Feed the animal - if the animal has vomiting or diarrhea.
- Give water by force - if vomiting is repeated after taking water or liquid paraffin, stop giving water and oil and immediately contact a clinic.
- Do not react to a worsening condition - if, despite the measures you have taken, the animal’s condition worsens, then consult a doctor immediately.
- Do not respond to bloating - if after giving petroleum jelly oil the volume of the abdomen increases - immediately see a doctor.
- GIVE SORBENTS - do not give sorbents (smecta, activated carbon, enterodesis) since they absorb liquid in the gastrointestinal tract, which helps reduce intestinal locomotor activity, a foreign object simply does not push through, stands still and worsens.
- GIVE Laxative or antiemetic (Cerucal) - they cause an increase in the motor activity of the gastrointestinal tract, which can lead to rupture of the wall of the stomach / intestine.
- GIVE PROBIOTICS - they can cause additional bloating and soreness.
Also remember that each clinical case is individual.
What happens to the animal’s body when a foreign object enters the gastrointestinal tract if:
I. The animal swallowed a foreign object of small diameter
- Light objects (gum, foam, bottle caps) may not exit the stomach into the intestine and continue to “float” in the stomach, which will cause the ferret to periodically worsen and periodically vomit. Moreover, the animal is often active, eats, and formed feces and liquid paraffin leave it.
- Small objects got into the stomach when eating, and from the stomach with the contents into the intestine, and if the object is smaller than the diameter of the intestine, without sharp edges, then when you give petroleum jelly oil, it “lubricates” the intestine and allows the foreign body to easily pass through the entire intestine .
II. the animal swallows a foreign body of large diameter, solid (with / without sharp edges), absorbing water
- It got into the stomach, but because of the large size it cannot pass into the intestine, you give petroleum jelly + gastric juice is secreted, the stomach is stretched, presses on the diaphragm and lungs, which leads to an acute painful expansion of the stomach and shortness of breath.
- The large body passed through the stomach and entered the intestine, but the diameter of the intestine is smaller than the foreign body, or the foreign body has sharp edges, thus forming a “plug” through which the food lump / petrolatum cannot pass. The stomach and intestine, lying above the foreign body, are overgrown with gases and liquid, and below the foreign body, on the contrary, the intestine continues to absorb fluid through the intestinal wall, thereby dehydrating the intestinal lumen, which leads to a stop of the intestinal motor activity (peristalsis), dehydration and greater deterioration of the animal.
In especially severe cases, a standing foreign body damages the intestinal wall, which leads to the release of a large number of bacteria and intestinal enzymes that lyse it ("corrode"), which leads to a violation of the integrity of the intestinal wall and its perforation (rupture). Perforation of the intestinal wall entails the penetration of intestinal contents into the peritoneum and entails inflammation (peritonitis). With peritonitis, it is extremely difficult to save the animal.
We will separately talk about bezoars.
When taking care of himself, as well as in games with other ferrets, the ferret swallows a large amount of wool, especially during molting, which can sometimes lead to the accumulation of this wool in the stomach and its compaction due to absorption of gastric juice. Thus formed BEZOAR. Small bezoars pass from the stomach to the intestine, while large ones can cause the same clinical picture as a foreign body!
The same thing happens sometimes when eating chickens whose feathers can also form bezoar. To prevent the formation of bezoar, it is worth giving a ferret a paste to dissolve hair in cats.
- A large amount of matter that can clog long sections of the gut
- A large amount of foam
- Ear plugs